Horse riding is a fun and very complete sport, which also contributes to the formation of values such as self-improvement and love and respect for animals. In addition, it is a practice that can contribute to improve or overcome physical, psychological, and also neural problems.
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The benefits of equestrian sport are varied and in very different areas: physical, psychological and therapeutic benefits.
- Horse riding favors postural correction. It contributes to the good development of the sense of balance, and is that the trunk posture allows riders and riders to maintain the upright posture and correct it, if necessary.
- Helps maintain physical shape and muscle tone. The practice of riding involves the exercise of muscles from all areas of the body. Arms, legs, abs, back, buttocks … Exercising on the horse allows you to strengthen and exercise your muscles, as well as tone and shape your body. This practice also contributes to developing body elasticity. In short, horse riding is a complete sport that allows you to develop and maintain good physical shape.
- Increased respiratory capacity and strengthening of the heart. Horse riding not only helps develop muscle tone, it also helps develop cardiorespiratory fitness and contributes to breath control. In addition, exercise helps strengthen the heart muscles and promotes blood circulation, strengthening the organ.
- Development of motor coordination. It is not a secret that the position on the horse and the handling of it, allows the development of balance and, therefore, of the coordination of the whole body and also of the mind, since we must direct the horse. It also helps reinforce our reflexes, since we must be alert to possible unexpected gestures and learn to control and reassure him.
- It helps you focus. Horse riding is a sport that requires concentration, which is also a positive aspect and a benefit of its practice because it allows the development of this capacity. In addition, it allows you to release stress and disconnect from everyday problems, doing an activity that is also fun.
- Improving confidence and self-esteem. All sports and physical activities contribute to the improvement of confidence and self-esteem. Riding, in addition, allows to overcome fears and acquire a great spirit of overcoming, since the goals to be achieved can gradually increase, which in turn contributes to the improvement of self-esteem. It is also a sport that is normally carried out in specialised centers with people who are also fans of this sport, so it contributes to making new friends and sharing hobbies with other people.
- Discipline, perseverance and patience are aspects that people who practice this activity develop without realizing it and that are very beneficial, especially for boys and girls. Discipline and perseverance are inherent in equestrian sport, since in order to improve riding, it is necessary to have a certain degree of discipline and consistency in training.
- Development of values such as responsibility and respect. Horse riding is a sport that is practiced together with another living being, to which one must take care and respect. Therefore, people who practice this sport develop values such as love of nature and animals, but also responsibility for keeping the horse in good condition, taking care of it. Also, affectivity, affection for the animal develops.
- Method of rehabilitation and therapy in different areas such as psychiatry, psychology and pedagogy. In addition, the practice of this activity in a controlled and directed manner can bring benefits to patients with autism, attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, visual, auditory or language deficiency, etc.
- Sport suitable for people of all ages. Horse riding is a sport suitable for boys and girls and also for adults, which can be done in different modalities and with different levels and at all times of the year.
Other physical improvements
Horse riding makes you work on balance. When riding the horse, the back is kept straight, helping the spine to be in a suitable sitting position. Considering that many of the back problems have to do with poor posture when sitting, horseback riding is a good way to work on this aspect.
It is also an exercise with great cardiovascular demand, to the point of being able to compare it with sports such as cycling or swimming. Even jogging and horseback riding have similar physical wear and tear, so it is highly recommended if you are looking for an activity with large doses of cardio, something different from the conventional. The number of calories consumed varies depending on which variant is chosen, but a few will always be burned.
Circulation is also improved when riding a horse. Contact with the animal slightly increases the temperature and makes the blood pump better, with the positive consequences this has for the health of the circulatory system.
In addition, being a sport that is practiced outdoors, its body benefits are further enhanced.
Another group of benefits that experts highlight is related to mental and emotional health. In fact, it is well known that horse therapy greatly helps people who have certain psychological disorders.
Some of the factors that promote horsemanship are self-control, self-confidence or self-esteem. When there are certain behavior or communication problems, for example in children, the connection with the horse has been shown to provide great advantages in treating them.
Horseback riding creates a sense of freedom that helps the mind disconnect and ease tension. That is why it is also recommended to practice horse riding when you experience episodes of stress or anxiety. Even depression can be treated with this sport.
It is interesting to note that horse riding needs to have a very good concentration, and that is why it helps to improve memory, counteracting the effects of aging neurons.
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